Saturday, April 2, 2016

The JOY of a Cast Iron Bunt Cake

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I must admit that the title was click bait. There is no cast iron in this post. It's actually CAST ALUMINUM.

This one is called "Jubilee". Isn't it beautiful??
 And yes, there is a big difference. I'm part of a facebook group called "Anonymous Cast Iron Bundt Cake Bakers" and it's a huge, lovely group of people who collect and bake (you guessed it) in cast iron bundt cake pans.

 (This is the one I finally decided on, although I really wanted the Cathedral pan. This is called Heritage.)
Some bundt cakes are way beyond my abilities, even with step by step instructions and some nice cookware, but I saw a really fun cake on a blog called It's the "two-toned cake tutorial".
Isn't that pretty?? So, I decided when my latest book was finished, I'd buy a fun pan and make this cake! (I used to reward myself with shoes but I have limited closet space, so I moved to purses, but then my teens started "borrowing" them, and so... here we are at cakes. LOL. At least they won't take up any closet space and they make everybody happy!)

Ingredients: two cake mixes and 9 TBS of Hershey's cocoa powder
(How easy is that??)
Preheat your oven to 350F
 Now, in the tutorial here she uses pound cake and there's a reason for it. It sticks to the sides better, since it's denser. I didn't know this so I used cake mixes I had on hand.
(I never have cake mixes. It's not something I ever buy. BUT, strangely enough, a friend brought me two boxes after I mentioned that I'd used a boxed mix just a few times in my life. I said they tasted funny and she was determined to prove me wrong!
The verdict is: they do have a weird "boxed cake" taste, but they also were very yummy. So, I won't avoid them as much. Anyway, that's the story of the cake mixes that are in this post. :D )
Divide the mix into three portions.
 Add three TBS of cocoa to one third.
 Add six TBS of cocoa to another third. Leave the last third plain vanilla.
 With a piping bag (or batter in a plastic bag with a hole cut in the end) spread some chocolate in one line of the pan AFTER greasing and flouring every little crevice.
 Repeat in a pattern with each batch of batter.
 Don't do this. I went all the way up the sides, then realized the cake mix only fills the pan about 3/4 of the way full, so then I had to wipe it off.
 Fill in the center with what's left. We made most of ours vanilla, but if you've split the batter equally, you can simply swirl the inside and it will be a pretty marble.
 Bake for 45-55 minutes. I was VERY worried this wouldn't come out of the pan, but after I let it cool for twenty minutes and then carefully flipped it over, it popped right out!
 It's SO pretty, but not as pretty as the tutorial web version. It definitely spent a little too long in the oven. (Not burned, but too dark to show off the pretty stripes.) Still, I loved the shape!
 There ya go! Have a slice with a big cup of hot coffee!

 I'm celebrating the release of my newest book The Boundless Deep (and last in this series) so I'll have two cups of coffee with my cake. Happy day!

Until next week!


  1. How fun is this! Oh mylanta, just to have those fun curves and swerves makes this a hit. And reminds me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Harriet brings a bundt cake to the engagement party at the Portokalos house... I love that movie and bundt cakes will never be the same again.

    I might have a severe case of pan-envy right now! I'm so glad you got it and showed it to us. Some of my favorite cooking kettles are cast aluminum, we grab them whenever we find one at a garage sale. I have a huge soup kettle, a 6.5 quart oval Dutch oven, a 5 qt. round Dutch oven, and I had a monster-sized one that got trashed in a TRAGIC MISTAKE when I let my boys clean out the garage about two decades ago.

    We won't talk about it.

    It still stings.

    (weeping softly...)

    We have combo retirement party for Dave and Eli's sixth birthday party, so I'm doing cookie cakes again and how blessed are all these kids to have Moms and Grammies who love to make delicious things??? Well done, Mary Jane!

    1. I never should have joined that facebook group because now I think I need ALL THE PANS. lol. But I'll try to limit myself because I have only so much storage space. What I'm thinking is maybe a set of those mini bundt cake pans? Maybe in various designs. I end up bringing desserts to tea parties and book parties so often, I thought that a set of four mixed styles in small cakes would be SUPER fun!

    2. I love all my cast iron but there's one 8qt dutch oven I use twice a week or more. It's so handy for roasted chicken, stews, roasts, etc. If that ever got "thrown out" I would cry!

      And I have a huge (never measures but it comes up to my knee) aluminum kettle I got a yard sale that was held in an old barn full of junk. It has dents and scratches, but hauling peaches in it is a joy!

  2. LOL -- since you're celebrating a book release you should have two pieces of cake with your coffee! Congratulations on the new book!!!!

    I'm mighty impressed with your fancy cake! I would never have had the nerve to try such a complicated pan. I know mine would have stuck tight no matter how much I greased and floured. You must have a magic touch.

    1. I gave up sugar!! WAH. But I'm sure it's temporary so I'll just have those two slices another day.
      And I' not sure about the sticking. I'm the queen of sticky cakes and this worked perfectly! Probably because nobody was waiting for it. I'm sure if I decide to make one for a big party, it will be a mess.

  3. I'm with Ruthy on that pan envy. Love the curves and swirls.

    1. Isn't it fun! I almost hate to glaze it because the form is so pretty!

  4. I love how you reward yourself! Now your family gets to enjoy he rewards too (in addition to borrowing purses). :):)

    A beautiful cake!

    1. Haha! Well, in a world of carrot vs sticks, I'm definitely a carrot person! I have kids who are only motivated by sticks, but I'm definitely someone who will work HARD for the promise of a treat, haha! It's the six year old in me.

  5. It is a gorgeous cake, but I must admit, even if it was ugly, I love Bundt cake. Adore it. Will work for Bundt cake. Yours I might even do windows for.

    1. Well, it's a bundt in form only since the cake itself is made from a boxed mix. I think it said yellow. So, really, it should be a pound cake!

  6. Wow! Beautiful cake!

    I reward myself for published books, too. I buy tea cups - ones that mean something to go with the book. It's a lot of fun to look for the perfect one. :)

  7. That's so pretty. I rewarded myself with sea glass earrings. They didn't taste as good, but they had no calories either. ;) But maybe book reward cakes are non-caloric too.

    Kudos on the courage to try the fancy pan. I'm always intrigued by them, but haven't tried one yet.